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War of 1812

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The War of 1812: Monday, October 10 at 9 p.m. ET
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Project News

"Sufferings and Privations" of Wartime       During Winter

As we experience winter in December 2011, imagine what war during these cold months was like in 1812 and the subsequent years of the War of 1812.  In The War of 1812, the filmmakers help convey the harsh wartime realities, in part, through the story of William Atherton, a Kentucky farm boy who spent more than a year in cold and hungry captivity as a prisoner of war.

Atherton's personal experiences, as told by himself in Narrative of the Suffering and Defeat of the North-western Army, published in 1842, helped inform the making of the documentary The War of 1812.  As the subtitle of the book details, it's an account of "Sixteen Months Imprisonment of the Writer and Others with the Indians and the British."  In the preface to his book, Atherton writes,

History has given us an account of the sufferings of the North-Western Army only in general terms, but no where, so far as I have been able to learn, has there been given a particular detail of the sufferings and privations of that detachment of the army.  I think it proper that the rising generation should know what their fathers suffered, and how they acted in the hour of danger; that they sustained the double character of "Americans and Kentuckians."

William Atherton in The War of 1812You can read more about Prisoners of War in 1812  at the series website.       And you can watch William Atherton's story in the documentary, as portrayed by re-enactor William  White (pictured right), by watching the  The War of 1812 online (and we'll let you know  once the 2012 rebroadcast is scheduled).

War of 1812 Web TileWant to Tell Others? You can easily Tell a Friend about this e-newsletter, which is now a monthly communication.  Use #pbs1812 on Twitter.  Or download the web button to the right for your own website.  For other project materials or questions, please contact Kate Kelly at WETA.

Watch the Film

The War of 1812: Trailer

Watch The War of 1812 onlineThe entire two-hour film is now online at pbs.org/1812 . 

Learn more about the War of 1812: Buy the book and DVDThe War of 1812 App ActiveA Bi-National Bicentennial

Throughout 2012-2015, the U.S. Navy and OpSail (Operation Sail, Inc.) will conduct a seven-port public/private partnership for the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812 and the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Week-long events, including parades of sail, public visitation, spectacular air shows, international athletic competitions, and community relations activities will mark the occasions in New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Baltimore/Annapolis, and Boston/New London. Similar events will take place in Great Lakes ports and across the nation.  Fleet Weeks, Navy Weeks and other annual events will use the commemoration as a teaching tool to impart important lessons about American heritage.

We will feature other Bicentennial plans here in future e-newsletters.

Featured Battle Site

Chateauguay Battlefield National Historic Site

Chateauguay Battlefield National Historic Site                          Howick, Quebec, Canada

Fought in wooded terrain along the Chateauguay River south of Montreal, the Battle of Chateauguay was one of the most historic and decisive battles ever fought on Canadian soil. There, in 1813, an outnumbered force of mostly French-speaking militia turned back an invading American army led by General Wade Hampton. Under command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles de Salaberry, a veteran British officer, the militiamen chopped down trees to block roads and slow Hampton’s progress. Using felled trees, the Canadians held firm for three days until the Americans eventually tired of battle and retreated back toward their base at Plattsburgh. The Chateauguay Battlefield National Historic Site is located along the Chemin de la Rivière Châteauguay southwest of Howick.

Did You Know? On October 21, 22 and 23, 1813, close to 3 000 American soldiers under General Hampton and Colonel Izard crossed over the border and set up camp down river from the Spears farm, on the site of the present-day Ormstown Fair. In the meantime, Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry took up position along the north bank of the Châteauguay River.

(Text/Photo courtesy of Parks Canada, http://www.pc.gc.ca)

Visit more sites on The War of 1812 website.

 

Educational News

  A Sailor's Life for Me!

A Sailor's Life for You!

A Sailor's Life for Me! is an online game and educational resource from The USS Constitution Museum, about "Old Ironsides," the 44-gun U.S. Navy frigate that was crucial against the British Navy during the War of 1812.

A Sailor’s Life for Me! offers to "thrill virtual visitors of all ages. Explore Constitution, from the dark hold to the top of the tallest mast- and everywhere in between. Learn about the daily lives of the 450 sailors who lived and worked on board America’s favorite ship. Play challenging and exciting games and experience the sailor’s life. Drawing on more than 10 years of intensive research by the USS Constitution Museum, this is the most accurate and thrilling depiction of life at sea ever presented. Let the voyage of discovery begin!"

Make sure to check out their Educator Resources, which offers Annotated Scenes (suggestions for activities and lesson plans), Classroom Integration (how to use their curriculum), War of 1812 Resources (to help you teach the War in your classroom), and their Search feature (you can search resources by grade levels, topics, or primary sources specific to your educator needs).

See more educational content at The War of 1812 website.

WNED: Buffalo/TorontoWETA Washington, D.C.PBS

The War of 1812 is a production of WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc., in association with WETA Washington, D.C.

National Endowment for the HumanitiesThe Wilson FoundationWarren and Barbara GoldringCorporation for Public BroadcastingThe Arthur Vining Davis FoundationsPhil LindThe Annenberg Foundation

With additional support from The Baird Foundation, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and Jackman Foundation.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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